Winnipeg Jets left-winger Evander Kane was innocently Tweeting about Game 1 of the NBA Final between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night before really catching the attention of cyberspace.
Kane is no stranger to centre stage and he found himself there once again when he unleashed a stream of five hockey tweets that caught the attention of fans and media members alike.
Here’s the play-by-play from @EKane9Jets (go to No 5 and work your way back please):
Naturally, when Kane opens his mouth — or in this case, his thoughts on social media — there was a firestorm of reaction.
And wouldn’t you know it, some of the conspiracy theorists were interpreting Kane’s thoughts as suggesting Kane was somehow asking for a trade.
I don’t see it that way, not one bit.
In fact, in case you forgot, Jets RW Blake Wheeler expressed similar thoughts in an interview with columnist Paul Friesen last spring. And Wheeler reiterated those concerns after the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention during the lockout-shortened season.
Kane’s frustration is obvious and this isn’t the first time he’s expressed his thoughts about failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs either.
He’s a guy that won a lot on the way to the NHL, but has failed to get to the post-season party during his four NHL seasons with the Winnipeg Jets and Atlanta Thrashers.
Kane is driven to improve as a player and he wants to win.
For all of the negativity that seemed to dog him during his first season with the Jets and during the lockout after the Floyd Money Mayweather Cash Phone Tweet, I saw maturity and growth from Kane this season.
And not just on the ice, where he had another solid season, despite watching frequent linemates Olli Jokinen and Kyle Wellwood suffer through funks.
Kane was more engaging with the media during the season and more available this season.
It looked to me like he was trying to take more responsibility and trying to grow into the role as one of the leaders on the team.
He’s not ready to wear a letter next season, but he’s progressing nonetheless.
There are more steps to be taken, but to me, expressing some anger about not participating in playoff games at this point of the season is something to be celebrated, not a situation that requires an ounce of worry.